INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Meaning, Example, Salary, How To Become One & Degree

Industrial organizational psychologist
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Most people only relate the word “psychology” to the medical field and nothing else. Truthfully, psychology has several subfields extending beyond the realm of medicine. Yeah! Industrial organizational (I/O) psychology is among the less popular but most prevalent and contemporary essential branches. This field combines business and psychology, whereby psychologists examine employee behavior, contentment, and effectiveness to enhance daily operations within firms. Meanwhile, this article defines an industrial organizational psychologist, including the job responsibilities, necessary degree, average salary, and at least an example to understand the career. 

Who Is An Industrial Organizational Psychologist?

An industrial organizational (I/O) psychologist is a professional who studies individuals in the workplace and applies psychological theories and principles to improve work conditions and the quality of life for employees. For example, an industrial organizational psychologist studies how people interact with each other in work environments. 

Industrial organizational psychologists work in many settings, including businesses, government agencies, and consulting firms. They often collaborate with other professionals, such as human resources personnel, to identify and solve problems related to job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity.

Hence, industrial organizational psychologists use their findings to help businesses create better work environments and improve employee productivity. They typically have a master’s or doctorate in industrial organizational psychology, human resources, or a related field. Many also have experience working in a business or human resources capacity.

What Are The 3 Major Fields Of Industrial Organizational Psychology? 

The three major fields of industrial organizational psychology are industrial psychology, organizational psychology, and human factors psychology. 

  • Industrial psychology focuses on human behavior in industrial and organizational settings. It covers areas of job satisfaction, performance, employee motivation, leadership, and team dynamics.
  • Organizational psychology is the study of human behavior in organizations. It also covers job satisfaction, performance, employee motivation, leadership, and team dynamics.
  • Human factors psychology is the study of human behavior with the design of products, systems, and environments. Additionally, it covers numerous subjects, including ergonomics, human-computer interaction, and user experience.

What Is An Example Of Industrial-Organizational Psychology? 

Industrial organizational psychology is the scientific study of human behavior in organizations. In other words, industrial organizational psychologists use psychological principles to help companies select and train employees, improve employee morale and productivity, and resolve workplace conflict.

An example is when an industrial organizational psychologist examines how people interact with technology and equipment in their work environment. This can include how to design workstations, ergonomic tools, and how to layout workspaces to maximize efficiency. It can also be on how to select and train employees to use the equipment and how to troubleshoot problems that arise in the workplace.

Additionally, a company’s executives can hire an I/O psychologist if they have concerns about the turnover in their organization. An industrial organizational psychologist, for example, might conduct a survey, interview workers, or use other research techniques to determine the reason for the high turnover rate.

What Does An Organizational Industrial Psychologist Do? 

Here are the job responsibilities:

  • First, an organizational industrial psychologist is responsible for studying and improving the psychological aspects of the workplace. 
  • Secondly, they work to create a healthy and productive work environment by analyzing how different factors affect employee behavior. 
  • Thirdly, an industrial organizational psychologist may design and implement employee training programs, as well as assess the effectiveness of these programs. Following this, they also develop policies and programs to improve employee productivity and satisfaction. 
  • In addition, organizational industrial psychologists may research topics such as employee motivation, work-life balance, and job satisfaction. This is to assess employee aptitude and personality.

How To Become An Industrial Organizational Psychologist

Industrial psychology is a rewarding career field that enables people to enhance the workplace. For example, if you want to become an industrial organizational psychologist and earn a high salary, you must obtain a degree.

To become an industrial organizational psychologist, you can take many different paths. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to become an industrial organizational psychologist:

#1. Obtain A Bachelor’s Degree

To become an industrial organizational psychologist, the first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Many industrial organizational psychologists have a master’s degree or doctorate in industrial organizational psychology, but a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. 

So, after completing a bachelor’s degree program, you can work in entry-level positions in human resources, marketing research, or management. While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to become an industrial organizational psychologist, many practitioners have a master’s degree or doctorate in industrial organizational psychology. 

#2. Complete A Master’s Degree Program

A master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology is the second step to becoming an industrial organizational psychologist. This degree program allows you to learn about the various aspects of psychology that pertain to the workplace. These areas include human resources, marketing research, and management. 

In addition, people in a master’s degree program will learn about research methods and statistics. These skills are essential for industrial organizational psychologists, as you will need to be able to research to help organizations improve their productivity and effectiveness.

Although a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to become an industrial organizational psychologist, many employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree or higher. However, these advanced degrees offer coursework in research methods and statistics, essential for success in this field.

#3. Pursue An Internship

If you want to become an industrial organizational psychologist, you should pursue an internship. This will allow you to learn about the field and get some real-world experience. There are many different types of internships, so you should choose one perfect fit for you.

However, you should note a few things when choosing an internship:

  • First, choose the internship accredited by the American Psychological Association. This will ensure you get quality training. 
  • Second, choose an internship in a field that interests you. This will help you get the most out of the experience. 
  • And finally, ensure the internship is in a location convenient for you.

Furthermore, pursuing an internship is a great way to start your career as an industrial organizational psychologist. But don’t forget to research and choose the best.

#4.  Pursue a Doctorate Degree

It is very common for industrial organizational psychologists to pursue a doctorate. This is because they need this degree to become a licensed industrial organizational psychologist. A doctorate also allows you to conduct research and teach at the university level. So, if you want to work in the private sector, you must have a doctorate, but it will give you an edge over the competition.

Meanwhile, you can pursue many doctorate degrees to become an industrial organizational psychologist. The most common type of doctorate is a Ph.D. in Psychology. However, you can also pursue a PsyD or an EdD. Each of these degrees will provide you with different skills and knowledge that you can use in your career.

No matter what type you pursue, make sure you attend an accredited program. Many unaccredited programs will not give you the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in your career. Hence, research before you enroll in any program.

#5. Obtain A License To Practice In Your State

The final step to becoming an industrial organizational psychologist is to obtain a license to practice in your state. Each state has different requirements for licensure, but most require a doctoral degree completion in psychology, passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, and a supervised internship completion.

On the other hand, some states also require continuing education courses to maintain licensure. After all these, you can obtain a license from your state’s licensing board and begin practicing industrial organizational psychology.

NOTE: Continuing education is important for industrial organizational psychologists to keep up with the latest research and developments in the field. Moreover, industrial organizational psychologists typically work in consulting firms, government agencies, or corporations. They may also work in private practice and use various methods to study employee behavior, including surveys, interviews, and observations.

Industrial Organizational Psychologist Degree 

An industrial organizational psychologist must earn a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree. 

Salary Of An Industrial Organizational Psychologist 

An industrial organizational psychologist typically earns a salary between $108,669 and $150,889 per year. This range may depend on the psychologist’s experience, education, and geographical location. Hence, an industrial organizational psychologist needs a master’s degree or higher in psychology to earn a high salary.

What Are The Highest Paying I-O Psychology Jobs?

Some of the highest paying I-O psychology jobs are forensic psychology specialist, psychometrician, applied social scientist, personnel psychologist, assessment Psychologist, human capital consultant, etc. 

From the above, the highest paying I-O psychology jobs are typically in management and consulting. I-O psychologists in these roles can earn six-figure salaries. And those with experience in data analysis and research can also command high salaries. 

However, note that salary is not the only factor to consider when choosing a career. You should also consider job satisfaction, work-life balance, and other factors.

Is Organisational Psychology A Good Career? 

Organizational psychology is a good career for people interested in studying human behavior in the workplace. It is a growing field with many opportunities for research and consultation. In addition, organizational psychologists can make a difference in employees’ lives and the overall success of organizations.

What Can I Do With A Degree In Industrial Psychology? 

You can use a degree in industrial psychology for many options. You can work as a research psychologist in a corporate setting, or a consultant in businesses or education.

What Does An IO Psychologist Do On A Daily Basis? 

An I/O psychologist focuses on the behavior of employees in the workplace. He/she is responsible for the daily management and analysis of an organization’s employee data. This data can include employee performance, job satisfaction, and turnover. 

The IO psychologist then uses this data to help the organization decide on things such as job design, employee training, and compensation. They may also research how to increase employee productivity or reduce workplace stress.

Is Industrial-Organizational Psychology A Stem Major?

Yes, industrial-organizational psychology is considered a stem major. This is because industrial-organizational psychologists use scientific methods to study human behavior in the workplace and organizations. 

They use this research to help organizations improve their productivity and effectiveness. Hence, most industrial-organizational psychologists typically have a background in psychology, business, or human resources.

What Is The Difference Between OB And Industrial Psychology? 

OB is the study of individuals in organizations. This includes the study of individual behavior, attitudes, and motivation in the workplace.

Industrial psychology, on the other hand, is the study of work and psychological principles application to the workplace. This includes the study of work behavior, job satisfaction, and work motivation.

However, the main difference between the two is that OB focuses on the individual, while industrial psychology focuses on the workplace.


Overall, industrial organizational psychology is a growing field with a high demand for qualified professionals. If you are considering this field, research the educational and training requirements, potential salary, and job outlook. Meanwhile, having the best education and training can help you become a highly qualified and successful industrial organizational psychologist.



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